Изображения страниц

converted by Conftantine? It had been much better to have fix'd it in Rome Pagan, or to reserve it for Rome Antichristian that was to follow immediately after. Antipas the martyr signifies ( saith he) the Orthodox that maintain'd the consubstantiality of the Son. Antipas for Antipatros , & Antipatros for Isopatros; equal to the Father. I have nothing to say hereupon, but it doth not please me very well.

The Church of Thyatira is the fourth, & sig. nifies according to Cocceius the Church under the reign of Antichrist. Jezabel that appears in, this Epistle is the Antichristian Church. They that suffer fezabel the Prophetess are the elect mingled among the Antichristian Idolaters. That sickness that God would send on fezabel in casting her on her bed, are those mortifications which Antichristianism was to receive by the several disasters that befel the Roman Church till the Reformation. This falls out pretty well, but 'tis by meer chance; for how can that magnificent Elogy be applied to this period of the Antichristian church, I know thy works, &tby charity, 6 thypatience, that thy last works are more than the first ? Never was the church so void of saints & of good works as in this fad Period.

Sardis is the fifth Church & the fifth Period, & according to Cocéeius as well as according to Forbes 'tis the Reformed Church. But I say hereto as I said before on occasion of Forbes, why should we fay of our Reformation thou hafta namé to live , & bebold thou art dead;strengthen the things which remain & are ready to day,

[ocr errors]

this is inbout it. the Church in God haha

Philadelphia signifies brotherly Love, this is the sixth Church which carries in its name the character of a Church yet to come, wherein. love and charity shall reign, but among a very finall number of people. This church shall be persecuted. Attempts will be made to shut the door against its conversions. Yet after this the Kings of the Earth shall submit themselves to it. This is in after ages. So that we have nothing to say about it.

Laodicea signifies the Church that shallim. mediately precede the time wherein God shall pass that judgment spoken of in the Ijih. ch. v.18. j. e. when the reign of j. Christ shall come to be establisht on the Earth. That is to , say, that immediately before the Kingdom of J: Christ comes on the Earth, the Church must fall into that dreadful decay meant by these words, Thou art neither hot nor cold, thou art poor, blind naked. I do not well understand how all this hangs together. The Church of Philadelphia,which is the sixth,after ithath been persecuted shall remain victorious over all the Kings of the Earth , which fignifies, that all the nations of the Earth shall be converted, see here the reign of J. Christ on the Earth. And yet after this comes a seventh Period, wherein religion shall almost entirely perish before the Kingdom of J. Christ comes on the Earth. Besides all other inconveniencies this system hath this further, vizi that besides these seven Periods an eighth must be added for the reign of the Church on the Earth. This is a thing that was never heard of, & the times.


to Dr.

[ocr errors]

iss were never in any prophecy divided into the eight.

: The mya Di. Henry More is one of the last that hath &tery of

the seven en spent his Labours on the Revelation. He be. Churches bi lieves also that these seven Epistles are my according the ftical & prophetical, & see how he under- llen. More. the stands them." i The Church of Ephesus is the Period that ran

out from J. Christ's time to the tenth year of
Nero's Empire.' See here a Period short
enough. There is not usually so great an ine-
quality between the Periods that divide the

times in the Prophecies. Moreover one may m. be assured that there is not so much as one

word in this Epistlé, that may not as happily
be applyed to the two following Ages , as to
the firit: so that this Application is purely Ar-
bitrary, and without any Ground.

The Church of Smyrna is the Period from
the tenth year of Nero, to the year 324. i.e.
to the Reign of Constantine and the Council
of Nice. This falls in with Cocceius's Noti-
on; wherefore I cannot approve of it for the
Reason above-mention’d.

Pergamus, according to Dr. More, lignis fies the Church from the year 324. to the year 1242. during which time the Empire of An. tichrist was eltablisht, taking in the time in which the Waldenses and Albigenfes appears in the World, and were excinguisht. The Foun. dation of this Explication is the Seat of Satan. I know where thou dwellest, even where Satan's Seat is. And the Martyr Antipas, that signifies, according to this Author, Anti-Pope, or


contrary to the Pope. This is a little glittering Light, but I am much afraid?tis a Deceitful one. For First, Why should we comprehend, in this Empire of Satan, the Reigns of Constantine and Theodofius, which were so happy for the Church 2dly, Why should it be said to this Antichristian Period, I know thy Good Works, and that thou hast not Denyed my Name? seeing there never were fewer that made profession of the Truth, than in this Pe.. riod. “ If ever the Church may be accused of having renounced the Name of Jesus Christ, 'tis in the time of Antichristianilin, which is called an Apoftacy: so that this Article doth not hit well; but that which follows doth much worse. : o

Thyatira, according to this Author, is the Church from the time that the Albigenfes were destroyed, to that time that entire Nations a: bandon’d the Communion of Rome. 'Tis it may be a time the most barren in Virtue, and the most overwhelm'd with Superstition, thatever was since Jesus Christ: yetmust this great Praise be attributed to it, I know thy Works, and thy Patience, and thy Charity; and that thy last Works are more than the first. What is said to the Church of Ephesus, which 'tis pretended is the Apostolical Church, is not so honourable, nor so great ; Thou sufferest the Womari Iezabel, that calls her self a Prophetesi. How can this be applied to those Ages that have run out since the Ruin of the Albigenfes, to the Reformation ? Jezabel, that Roman Whore, hath not only been suffer'd and tole


[ocr errors]

Ephere for

e Retot lince Pplied berself

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

rated, she hath reigned with less Contradictis on than in any Age..

Sardis is the fifth Church, which signifies the fifth Period according to Dr. More; and this Period is that of the Reformation, tơ the last Vial, 3.c. to the last Ruin of Antichrist. 'Tis to this Church that the Holy Spirit faith, Thou hast a Name to live, but béo hold thou art dead. Can it be imagin'd, that God should give such great Praises to the Church that was since the Ruin of the Ale bigenses till the Reformation, and that the Holy Spirit should be made to speak with so much Disdain of the Reformed Church ? What comparison is there between the Church inits Reformation, & that corrupted Church, wherein hardly any was to beound that presery'd himself from the mighty Corruption of Errorand Vice : · Philadelphia, which is the sixth Church, fignifies a sixth Period, wherein Antichrist Thall be entirely ruin'd, and the Infidel Nationsbeconverted. This is to divine; and that which the Holy Spirit faith to the sixth Church, doth not exactly import any such thing.

Lastly; Laodicea, of which the Holy Spirit speaks in fuch disadvantageous terms, is the Church that must fall into decay after the Fall of Antichrist, and the Conversion of the Peos ple. And this Decay must bring the Churchi to the coming of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ on the Earth. See here anew Period, and of which there is not the least foot

tep in all the


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »